This year's Kentucky Derby was run over a sloppy track, where front runners pretty much dominated the whole racing card. In this year's Preakness Stakes, early favorite Always Dreaming will be a short price as he hopes to capture the second jewel of the Triple Crown trophy.
With quite a few familiar faces and many newcomers trying their chances at the Preakness, there's a ton of value going against the even money favorite.
Here are the long shots that may outrun their odds and light up the toteboard Saturday:
It's definitely possible he just didn't take to the off track at Churchill Downs. He never really seemed comfortable and it certainly didn't help his chances having to make up ground after a not-so-ideal break over the slop.
Hence seems to be one of those slow-learning horses. He didn't win at two years old and it took him over three starts to break his Maiden. I do think after every race he's gotten better and I think he's capable of a bounce-back effort. He did have a nice rebounding effort after the disappointing seventh in the Southwest Stakes, coming back to win the Sunland Derby a little over a month later.
I think being trained by Steve Asmussen, who has won the Preakness Stakes with the likes of Curlin in 2007 and super filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009, is an added bonus.
He's one of a handful of runners entering fresh after skipping the Kentucky Derby. He only has four career starts, but being lightly raced isn't necessarily a negative thing. It took him three starts before breaking his Maiden, but he did so racing two turns and in his fourth start won the 1 1/8-mile Illinois Derby in a time of 1:47.98 - the second fastest in race history.
Although the Illinois Derby was a Grade 3 race and not against the caliber of horses he will meet Saturday, he definitely showed that distance won't be an issue and he that he may be finding his racing strides at the perfect time.
The addition of jockey Joel Rosario is a nice touch. He has lots of Triple Crown experience and could potentially bring the best out of this lightly raced colt.
Cloud Computing (+2,000)
With a lack of speed and pace being an issue coming into the Preakness, I think there's certainly some merit to betting horses that you know will be involved early. I think the two horses which may end up with perfect trips are Cloud Computing and Classic Empire.
These two have shown enough early speed to potentially craft a nice staking trip. Cloud Computing will need to improve quickly to tackle some of the other proven contenders, but I do think his racing style suits the Pimlico dirt surface well.
It's intriguing that jockey Javier Castellano is choosing to ride him over Gunnevera, who he was riding in the Derby. Perhaps skipping the Derby and allowing extra time to prepare will work to his advantage.